Despite what many in the public believe, bladder problems and bowel problems – known as incontinence – are not isolated to pregnant women, mothers, or the elderly. In support of this is recent data published by the Continence Foundation of Australia that states…
“Between 20,000 and 60,000 Australians aged 13 to 18
experience some form of incontinence”.
Incontinence may cause significant emotional stress and potentially lead to social isolation. People start to avoid social engagements, withdraw from exercise or sport participation and spend more time at home where a toilet or clean pair of underwear are immediately available.
This is not something we as a society can ignore! As a pelvic floor physiotherapist I am motivated to use my special skill set to help my community effectively manage their incontinence issues. Pelvic floor physiotherapy involves training the muscles of your pelvic floor as you would any other muscle of your body! Increasing the power, strength and endurance of these muscles through daily practice can improve your current symptoms and also protect you from developing problems later in life.
Signs that indicate you would benefit from seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist for treatment and self-management solutions, include:
- Needing to go to the toilet more often
- Waking up at night to go the toilet
- Leaking in your underwear during sport or when you laugh or sneeze
- Rushing to get to the toilet in time
- Uncontrollable farting (not related to spicy food or baked beans!)
- Painful constipation or straining when you are on the toilet
If you have experienced any of the above, be brave and talk to your parents (it is more common than you think – just ask your mum!) and ask them if they would accompany you to a pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment. Pelvic floor and continence physiotherapy can help by training the power, strength and endurance of the muscles that control bladder and bowel continence.
We often work in conjunction with your family doctor so that every aspect of your condition is addressed, however, you do not need to see you GP first to make an appointment with pelvic floor physiotherapist Eleanor Donoghue.
Written by Eleanor Donoghue
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